Nate and I recently bought a new car – one of the last steps to us getting fully prepared for the baby's arrival. We wanted something fuel efficient and inexpensive, with enough cargo space for all the baby's gear and an excellent warranty for our own peace of mind. Right after we purchased our new Hyundai Elantra, Nissan invited me to a preview event of their new 2011 Murano CrossCabriolet. The world's first AWD crossover convertible is breaking class boundaries and leaving auto experts scratching their heads. I was eager to take a look and weigh in on the vehicle based on my own recent experience.


Say Yes to Anything
The vehicle's versatility speaks to the practical (and indecisive!) side of me, and likely to a lot of family-oriented women. It can go from the beach to the mountains without batting an eye, giving me the freedom to get up and go or simply go run errands. The spacious backseat means I can take a road trip with friends without concern that anyone will be uncomfortable (although the 17MPG city/22MPG highway might have me questioning my fuel budget). My initial concern about safety in a convertible was eased by pop-up roll bars and supplemental door-mounted curtain air bags with rollover sensor.


An Answer to the Question Nobody Asked
Overall, I think the CrossCabriolet provides an excellent option for the right person. What I find particularly interesting is the traditional automotive community's initial hesitation about the car. They seem skeptical because they can't easily place it in their normal line-up. Is it a weekend car? Is it for families? Joy-riders? I personally see it being bought by adventurous, social couples with older children or teenagers. While it does fit a car seat and stroller with relative ease, at $46,390 it's out of the price range of most young families but is a versatile car to aspire to for the future.

My own car buying experience didn't involve automotive magazines or car reviews. I asked my friends for advice. I considered the needs of my family and ultimately, I test drove cars until I found the one that just felt right. That's how I foresee this car being sold: not as the most trendy, talked-about new vehicle on the market, but as a car that provides all the freedom and versatility for a niche that hasn't been quite satisfied until now. I can absolutely see a mom in her 40's wanting to break out of the SUV mold, sitting in this car and saying, “This is the one.” As Nissan's Chief Marketing Manager Scott Shirley said, “We don't make vehicles that are something for everyone. We make vehicles that are everything for someone.”